Coronavirus and the Dominican Republic
Since the World Health Organization has declared the virus COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11th, 2020. Cities and nations have undergone extreme measures that impact everyone. With the current global crisis, the last few days have been incredibly challenging and confusing for everyone.
As a real estate agency in the Dominican Republic, it is our goal to be as informative as possible towards our clients around the world. This post will help you understand what is the state of the country, how real estate transactions have been impacted, and keep you informed of the latest developments in the DR providing updates, as the situation evolves. But before let’s take some perspective…
In January, the Coronavirus has grown from an isolated case in Wuhan to thousands of cases across several cities in China. Since then, it quickly escalated into global health issue spreading fear and uncertainty around the world. In February, the virus traveled to the western hemisphere with the first confirmed cases detected in Italy, it then quickly spread to the rest of Europe. Just a few days later, The Dominican Republic, began to notify about possible cases of infections by COVID-19. At the same time, cases were detected in North, Central and South America. As of mid-March, China as well as other countries seems to have managed to bend the curve that represent the new cases, with a social and economic situation slowly returning to normal.
Unfortunately for all, this virus is very contagious making it hard to contain, it has a long incubation period making it hard to detect and finally, our mental, and sometimes, structural unpreparedness have made it harder to efficiently counter its negative effects as a society. But back to the case of the Dominican Republic.
The first case of the coronavirus in the DR was notified by the health authorities on March 1st, a 62-year-old Italian man, who was staying at an all-inclusive hotel in Bayahibe, at the East of the island. Then, like everywhere else, new cases began to emerge. All related to people who were visiting or outside the country recently, which led the authorities to order the cancellation of flights to and from Europe, China, and Israel for 30 days, starting Monday, March 16.
The same day, a press conference led by doctor Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas, Minister of Public Health. The first death from the virus in the country was reported. And the increase from 10 to 21 positive cases and another 25 cases awaiting lab results.
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The Minister of the Presidency, Gustavo Montalvo, announced to the country that President Danilo Medina would give a speech to the nation on Tuesday. Medina spoke of the new measures to stop the spread of the virus and prevent new infections and here are the main takeaways.
1- Requesting Congress to declare a national state of emergency.
2- Closing of all borders for 15 days, only allowing access to supply flights or for tourists who wish to return to their country.
3- Teaching until April 13.
4- The suspension for 15 days of national and international events such as fairs, concerts, festivals, political campaigns, and others.
5- Restaurants can only serve food via delivery or takeout.
6- Closing for 15 days all shops, except those dedicated to the supply of services and basic goods such as gas stations, pharmacies, and supermarkets.
7- That medical centers will remain open but with the reduction of regular consultations.
8- Closing of companies and virtual work applications for 15 days as well as the alternation of 50% of employees in the public system to minimize attendance.
The president also announced other financial and economic measures to mitigate the situation during the period of resection caused by the coronavirus in the Dominican Republic.
At the moment (25 March), comments are being made informally about possible infected people from a cruise ship that had docked in the country last week and others allegedly from medical personnel who had treated these patients. The country was declared in an emergency for 25 days and people are urged to stay home to avoid possible contagion.
As of today (February 11), there are 51,248 active cases, and 1,242 confirmed deaths according to reports from the Ministry of Public Health. Here’s a link to the latest report here.
Actually, business is totally open, urging people to keep the following precautions:
Mandatory use of masks
• Minimum physical distance of two meters between two people.
• Use of masks in workplaces and public spaces.
• Frequent hand sanitization with soap and water.
• Stay as long as possible inside homes.
• Care and isolation in the home of people with mild signs and symptoms.
• Seek care in health centers if you have a fever, headache, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of smell, malaise, cough, and respiratory distress.
• Avoid high-traffic places such as cinemas, parks, shopping malls, gyms, among others.
The curfew hours are from Monday to Friday from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am and on Saturdays and Sundays from 5:00 pm to 5:00 am in all the country.
September 15th, provide a negative PCR or COVID-19 test upon arrivals its no longer an entry requirement for travelers. instead, passages will need to complete a form declaring that they have not felt any COVID-19 related symptoms and, authorities will randomly administer a quick breath test. If you are traveling from the United States here is some information you may also like to know.
The Dominican government has approved a free travel assistance plan that provides coverage for emergencies in the event of an infection or exposure to COVID-19 while in-country.
While it’s clear that the Coronavirus is affecting our island, we know that this moment will pass and travel will be back, people will go back to work, businesses will reopen, so will the borders, and tourists will come back, relaunching our economy which heavily relies on tourism and foreign direct investments, and people will look to purchase affordable properties once more. Opportunities will arise in the local real estate market as some will be more motivated to sell. Demand has and will surely continue to fall as buyers are less motivated to spend money on non-essential goods. In either case, you will find below useful information about real estate transactions in the DR, whether you are looking to buy a property or in the process of selling yours.
Our office is opened again to the public since May 20th, you can organize a meeting by appointment, as long as it complies with the security regulations.
Video calls can be options to people out of the country or in risk situations that keep them home due to the Coronavirus.
Notaries are opened to the public since May 20th, Deed of sale can be signed by previews appointment and signatures of Promise of Sale are possible online, as well as power of attorney.
Under the current situation, payment terms should be respected, but parties can agree on extensions in writing of existing agreements.
In the event that the term of a deposit or purchase contract could not be met, the State of emergency has suspended the clauses of breaches of contract for reasons of time limits. Contracts are automatically extended during the State of emergency under the clause “Act of god”.
The lawyers will also be active from their home offices (offices opened since the 20th of May).
If you are a seller, we will continue publishing and offering your property for sale as usual.
Atlantique Sud is dedicated to providing all the inspiration you need for your Las Terrenas travel planning, from the comfort of your own home. In the meantime, our entire team sends much love and strength to our readers and followers across the globe, and at the same time, we urge you to never stop dreaming, never stop wishing, never stop hoping and never stop imagining your future in Las Terrenas.
We’ll be right here waiting for you when the time comes!